The Pune police, in their ongoing investigations into the activities of the banned CPI (Maoist) party, will likely question senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh after his number was reportedly mentioned in one of the letters the police claimed to have seized from the arrested human rights activists.
The August 28 arrests and raids by the police on prominent human rights activists’ were carried out in alleged connection with Maoist links to the Bhima Koregaon violence that were ‘provoked’ by the Elgaar Parishad meeting on December 31 last year.
In the letter, which is dated September 25, 2017, a ‘Com Prakash’ purportedly tells a ‘Com Surendra’ that Congress leaders were “very much willing to assist” in their efforts to “intensify nationwide protests using students”. The letter allegedly mentions a cellphone number that ‘Com Surendra’ can contact “in this regard”, which is reportedly Singh’s number.
According to Pune police, ‘Com Surendra’ is a reference to Surendra Gadling, a Nagpur-based lawyer who was arrested in June and ‘Com Prakash’ is one of the top CPI(Maoist) commanders.
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After the letter’s contents became public when the police submitted it in court as evidence of the activists’ alleged Maoist activities, Singh had challenged the government of India and the state to arrest him.
According to a report by Indian Express, Deputy Commissioner of Police Suhas Bavche said that the contents of that letter were under investigation, but refused to share further details.
Police sources cited by IE confirmed the number linking to Singh but did not say how soon the questioning was likely to take place.
The Supreme Court of India intervened and placed the activists’ on house arrests. With the exception of Gautam Navalakha, who got interim relief from the Bombay High Court, the others landed in the custody of Pune police after their house arrest got over.
Police have so far booked 22 persons in this case under sections of the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and IPC.